In his speech on Tuesday at the National Assembly, ruling Democratic Party floor leader Lee In-young apologized for generating a controversy and said he would serve the public more humbly. Lee’s public apology came as the controversy surrounding his charge against a professor who criticized the ruling party in a column continued. It is seen as an effort to remove possible risks that could work against the government and the ruling party in the upcoming April 15 general elections.
The Democratic Party of Korea announced the additional recruitment of candidates for a constituency represented by Rep. Keum Tae-seop who had been critical of Cho Kuk in the recent scandal. Some say that it is a warning against Rep. Keum who has been bombarded with messages from President Moon Jae-in’s supporters. A new candidate declared his intention to run for the nomination, and he is a co-writer of the book White Paper on Cho Kuk. Members of a party reserve the right for nomination. Each party has its own criteria such as the nominee’s strengths or reputation to elect a nominee. However, considering that the chosen nominee will represent the public as a representative, it is important for a party to nominate someone who can serve the general public. We will have to wait and see, but one’s view on the Cho Kuk scandal should not be a deciding factor in nomination.
President Moon’s hardcore supporters are indiscriminately attacking anyone who are not favorable to the ruling party. Personal information of a small business owner was leaked after she complained about the economy while speaking on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on her business. Citing the unpleasant tone of her voice, the diehard supporters tracked her down and revealed her mobile number as well as the name and address of her store. Such attacks not only restrict the freedom to express political leanings and to support or oppose a politician. They are also a form of violence that uses the power of the majority to silence people with different views.
Most political parties in Korea are catch-all parties that represent the general public, not just a specific class or viewpoint. This is why the ruling party should listen to those in the middle as well as the voice of its supporters. A survey conducted by Gallop last week revealed that there was a growing anti-sentiment towards the government and the ruling party. This is a warning from voters. A member of opposition United Future Party harshly criticized the ruling party to the point it is unnecessary to please his conservative supporters. Both liberal and conservative parties must realize that failure to listen to and represent the general public would result in them being isolated.